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Reel Critics

Silber and Silber

“RAIN,” a first feature film by New Zealand director Christine Jeffs,

is a photographer’s dream.

The cinematography is well matched to the story -- done in warm, soft

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tones evoking summer as seen through memory. Almost any frame could be

stopped and appreciated as a well composed still photograph. We found

this to be the most interesting aspect of the film.

The film looks back at a summer in the early 1970s and how one middle

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class family spends its vacation at a rented beach cottage. The long,

slow days lead to boredom, drinking, lust and tragedy. We watch as mom

(Sarah Pierce) tries to fill her own inner void by seducing a local hunk

while her passive husband lets the marriage float away. Through this, the

children are emotionally neglected and left to their own devices. Jim

(Aaron Murphy) as the 4-year-old is a delight. Janey (Alicia

Fulford-Wierzbicki), the 13-year-old daughter and the narrator, is the

most interesting character to watch.

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The competitive tension between daughter and mother is palpable. For

both women the boiling emotions blind them to their responsibility to

Jim, who personifies pure innocence and joy.

The film gives the feel of looking back at a home movie. The best

acting was by the children. Although beautiful to watch, this film did

not hold our interest throughout. It is a good first film and we hope

Jeffs does more in the future.

* Diane and Igal Silber are film buffs.

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